Archive for the ‘Timothy’ Category

“There is nothing that we are enduring that Jesus does not understand, and He waits for us to go to our Heavenly Father in prayer. If we will be obedient and if we are diligent, our prayers will be answered, our problems will diminish, our fears will dissipate, light will come upon us, the darkness of despair will be dispersed, and we will be close to the Lord.”

–Robert D. Hales, “Behold, We Count Them Happy Which Endure”, Ensign, May 1998

* * *

In 1968 a marathon runner by the name of John Stephen Akhwari represented Tanzania in an international competition. “A little over an hour after [the winner] had crossed the finish line, John Stephen Akhwari … approached the stadium, the last man to complete the journey. [Though suffering from fatigue, leg cramps, dehydration, and disorientation,] a voice called from within to go on, and so he went on. Afterwards, it was written, ‘Today we have seen a young African runner who symbolizes the finest in human spirit, a performance that gives meaning to the word courage.’

For some, the only reward is a personal one. [There are no medals, only] the knowledge that they finished what they set out to do” (The Last African Runner, Olympiad Series, written, directed, and produced by Bud Greenspan, Cappy Productions, 1976, videocassette).

When asked why he would complete a race he could never win, Akhwari replied, “My country did not send me 5,000 miles to start the race; my country sent me to finish the race.”

He knew who he was—an athlete representing the country of Tanzania. He knew his purpose—to finish the race. He knew that he had to endure to the finish, so that he could honorably return home to Tanzania. Our mission in life is much the same. We were not sent by Father in Heaven just to be born. We were sent to endure and return to Him with honor.

Jesus chose not to be released from this world until He had endured to the end and completed the mission He had been sent to accomplish for mankind. Upon the cross of Calvary, Jesus commended His spirit to His Father with a simple statement, “It is finished” (John 19:30). Having endured to the end, He was released from mortality.

We, too, must endure to the end. The Book of Mormon teaches, “Unless a man shall endure to the end, in following the example of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved” (2 Ne. 31:16).

May we be able to say as Paul said to Timothy, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept [my] faith” (2 Tim. 4:7).

– Elder Robert D. Hales,

Behold, We Count Them Happy Which Endure, April 1998

The Covenant of Baptism: To Be in the Kingdom and of the Kingdom, October 2000

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* * *

The New Testament contains a short book called Philemon.

Here is a summary:

The Apostle Paul introduces himself as a prisoner of Jesus Christ. Paul was under house arrest in Rome at this time.

Paul and Timothy greet Philemon as a dearly beloved fellow-laborer.

Philemon lived in Colossae.

Onesimus had been Philemon’s slave. Onesimus had run away and may have stolen some money from his master.

He then met Paul. Paul taught the gospel to Onesimus, who then became a Christian as well as a servant to Paul.

Paul regards Onesimus as his son (verse 10).

Paul asks Philemon in a letter to forgive Onesimus and to accept him as a fellow Christian and as a beloved brother (verses 15-16)

Paul then sent Onesimus back to Philemon. Paul offered to pay Philemon for any debts that Onesimus owed to Philemon. (verses 18-19).

Paul expresses his desire to visit Philemon after his imprisonment (verse 22).

Paul closes

[25] The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen

* * *

There are several important lessons in this epistle.

Onesimus represents each of us in this story. This story symbolizes the great atoning sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for us.

We are all rather unprofitable servants as was Onesimus. We are slaves of sin when we do wrong (John 8:34). We may also be slaves to fear.

We may all at one time run away from the Lord as Onesimus fled from Philemon. But we can still repent and turn our hearts to Jesus Christ even when we are far away from him.

Paul regarded Onesimus as his son. We become sons and daughters of Jesus Christ when we are spiritually reborn.

Paul offered to pay for the debts of Onesimus. Jesus Christ has paid for our eternal debts through his great atoning sacrifice in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the Cross at Calvary.

The story also teaches us the importance of brotherhood in Christ and forgiveness.

* * *

Here is a poem by Rosamond E. Herklots.

“Forgive our sins as we forgive,”
You taught us, Lord, to pray;
But You alone can grant us grace
To live the words we say.

How can Your pardon reach and bless
The unforgiving heart
That broods on wrongs and will not let
Old bitterness depart?

In blazing light your cross reveals
The truth we dimly knew:
How trifling others’ debts to us;
How great our debt to You!

Lord, cleanse the depths within our souls
And bid resentment cease;
Then, by your mercy reconciled,
Our lives will spread your peace.

* * *

May the Lord bless you,
Tom Irvine

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The Apostle Paul declared:

[15] And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
[16] All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
[17] That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

2 Timothy 3

* * *

Jesus taught his disciples:

[14] I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine
[15] As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
[16] And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

John 10

* * *

The ancient apostles thought that the “other sheep” referred to the Gentiles. Indeed the Gentiles were among the other sheep.

But the tribes of Israel had long been scattered to other nations and continents prior to Jesus’ birth. Some of these “lost tribes” even settled in the Americas and were also “other sheep.” The Resurrected Christ visited these sheep in their various locations. His visit to ancient America is recorded in the Book of Mormon, which is another testament of Jesus Christ.

The Book of Mormon is a volume of scripture which is also given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

Please let me know if you would like to read the Book of Mormon. Then I will send one to you. Thank you.

May the Lord bless you,
Tom Irvine

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